Quotable Heinlein  

I am interested in the fact that you have unusually keen minds. However, that lays us open, and I am including myself in this, lays us open to dangers that don't hit the phlegmatic, the more stolid. Unless we are able to predict, we are even more likely to be subjected to functional insanities than those around us.... There's a way out, there's something that we can do to protect ourselves, something that would protect the rest of the human race from the sort of things that are happening to them, and are going to happen to them. It's very simple, and it's right down our alley: the use of the scientific method. I'm not talking about the scientific method used in the laboratory. The scientific method can be used to protect ourselves from serious difficulties of other sorts, getting our teeth smashed in, in our everyday life, twenty-four hours of the day. I should say what I mean by the scientific method. Since I have to define it in terms of words, I can't be as clear as I might be if I were able to make an extensional definition. But I mean a comparatively simple thing by the scientific method: the ability to look at what goes on around you. Listen to what you hear, observe, note facts, delay your judgment, and make your own predictions. That¼s all there is, really, to the scientific method: to be able to distinguish facts from non-facts.

From Guest of Honor Speech at the Third World Science Fiction Convention, Denver, 1941

Submitted by Andrew Peterson on June 1, 1996.

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Last modified on March 05, 2011. Presentation © 1996-2014 Andrew B. Peterson.